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Improving Deep Tissue Pressure Injury (DTPI) outcomes: a 2.5 year-long Quality Improvement Project



Long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with multiple co-morbidities, debility and cognitive loss, are at higher risk of developing deep tissue pressure injury (DTPI). There is limited research supporting the treatment options for DTPIs, but offloading is recommended.Two affiliated LTCFs wanted to implement a different wound management approach to decrease wound inflammation and prevent deterioration of DTPIs.


A Quality Improvement Project was initiated: a chart analysis of wound management of last 2.5 years. 104 DTPIs were included in analysis. LTCFs compared outcomes of previous DTPI management using skin barrier film (SBF) compared to management with polymeric membrane dressings (PMDs). PMDs were evaluated because they have been shown to control inflammation and increase healing. Two groups were studied with lower extremity DTPIs; both included offloading. Group 1) 36 patients with 40 DTPIs. SBF was applied 2x/day. Group 2) 49 patients with a total of 64 DTPIs. PMDs were changed 2x/wk. and as needed. Lost to follow-up: SBF= 13 (32.5%); PMD=25 (39%). Final analysis was performed on those not lost to follow-up: 27 in SBF group and 39 in PMD group.


Group 1 (SBF), 4 out of 27 (14.8%) DTPIs resolved. In Group 2 (PMD), 26 out of 39 (66.7 %) DTPIs resolved. Wounds that did not resolve, opened to Stage 2, 3 or 4: SBF Total opened: 23 (85.2%): Stage 2=3 (11.1%); Stage 3=9 (33.3%); Stage 4=11 (40.7%). PMD Total opened: 13 (33.3%); Stage 2=1 (2.5%); Stage 3=7 (18%); Stage 4=5 (12.8%). In SBF group, nursing wound care time required to manage the DTPIs was 70 minutes/week/patient; in the PMD group 20 minutes/week/patient required.


PMD managed DTPIs were 4.5 times more likely to spontaneously resolve without opening compared to those managed with SBF. PMDs have become the standard of care managing DTPIs.
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